Benjamin Franklin: scientist, author, inventor, statesman

Above are just a few of Benjamin Franklin’s job descriptions/titles found by the Victor crew.

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston in 1706, then known as Massachusetts Bay Colony. His father, Josiah, was English-born and had seven children with his first wife and ten children with his second wife. Ben was his fifteenth child. He went to school until he was 10 and then went to work in his father’s candle and soap shop. When he was 12, Ben apprenticed at his brother James’ print shop.

Ben learned about newspaper publishing while putting up with his brother beating him. Tired of being bullied, Ben fled Boston in 1723 and escaped to New York before heading to Philadelphia. He published the Pennsylvania Gazette by age 23. He also published Poor Richard’s Almanack under the name Richard Saunders. He later became associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle known for criticisms against British policies. He was first president of The Academy and College of Philadelphia later known as the University of Pennsylvania. After the American Revolution, he became the first US Postmaster General, having been a Philadelphia postmaster previously. From 1776-1785 he served as Ambassador to France. Ben Franklin served as governor of Pennsylvania from 1785 to 1788.

Benjamin Franklin had a common law marriage to Deborah Read as she was not free to marry. She was previously married and her husband took off with her dowry. He had 2 children with her – Francis Folger Franklin born in 1732 who died of smallpox in 1736, and Sarah Franklin born in 1743. He also previously had an illegitimate son whom he acknowledged as his when he was 24.

Franklin was known for some of his inventions as well. Some of his creations were the lightning rod, Franklin stove, bifocal glasses, and urinary catheters. He played the violin, harp, and guitar. He enjoyed playing chess.

Franklin died in 1790 at age 84. About 20,000 people attended his funeral in Philadelphia.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Ben Franklin

You can read more about his life here: